In 2010 a consortium of bodies that represent or practice across the design and creative disciplines came together to form the Australian Design Alliance.
The Alliance was formed to stimulate the national government to:
“… recognise design as a potent means of realising policy objectives such as digital technological innovation, education, health, crime prevention, construction, environmental sustainability and transport.”
The Alliance brings a coherent voice to lobbying the Australian Government to recgonise and write design into future policy. Its vision and mission is outlined below:
“The [AdA] vision is to develop a culture of design in Australia to strengthen economic competitiveness, innovation and sustainability. Its mission is to achieve greater advancement, recognition and valuing of Australian design by governments, business and community, plus greater innovation and collaboration within the design sector together with the application of strategic design approaches across all sectors.”
In September 2010 the first round table discussion was held at the Sydney Opera House. Thought leaders in Australian design discussed the areas of:
- Design policy
- Design research
- Design as a competitive advantage
- Design education
- Design culture
- Design in our cities
- Public engagement
- Design and sustainability
- Design and the media
The Launch Event Report profiles these discussions and top priorities for the Alliance moving forward. The Alliance agreed that they would pursue a:
- National design policy linked to Australia’s innovation agenda;
- Education and design skills at all education levels from school to MBAs;
- Case studies demonstrating how good design can contribute to improved economic growth through supporting superior business models and improved public sector service delivery.
More detail on the above can be found in the Launch Event Report (click to download).
Having met a few people highly involved in the AdA and read the report, there’s a lot of thought leadership out there for design in Australia. The three top priorities are great starting places of the Alliance, addressing the important areas of policy, education and evidence. With the latter, there’s lots of evidence out there of innovative uses of design. Sometimes it’s not the easiest to find and sometimes its challenging to articulate to different audiences, but it’s out there.
From what I have gathered so far of the AdA, there’s a lot of work to do but I think it is going to be a great time for design in Australia.
ps. Apologies for the great length of time between posts. It’s taken a much longer time than anticipated to get internet connected to our apartment. I won’t convey the terrible service experience here and just say that it’s great to finally be back online and connected!